Live

Watch CBSN Live

"Rockefeller" Kidnap Case Goes To Jury

The kidnapping case of the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller is in the hands of a Massachusetts jury.

Rockefeller's real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. He is accused of snatching his 7-year-old daughter during a supervised visit in Boston last July. Father and daughter were found in Baltimore six days later.

In closing arguments Monday, the prosecution depicted him as a master manipulator who was angry - not insane - when he kidnapped the girl. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin told the jury Gerhartsreiter planned the kidnapping for months and knew what he was doing was wrong.

Defense lawyers told the jury he was a loving father who had a mental illness that exploded when he lost custody of his daughter.

Prosecutor's sought to poke holes in the insanity defense, receiving testimony from psychiatrist Dr. James Chu, who said Gerhartsreiter exaggerated his symptoms of mental illness and was not insane when he kidnapped his daughter. He said he based his opinion in part on evidence that Gerhartsreiter planned the kidnapping for months and later tried to conceal it.

CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom, a former prosecutor, sided with the prosecution , saying, "He had a lot of planning in this caper. ... There was a lot of analysis, a lot of planning to evade the law. I think he knew exactly what he was doing."

She added, "The insanity defense requires more than a mental illness. ... You also have to show that he was unable to conform his conduct to the law," and the planning Gerhartsreiter did points the opposite way.

Bloom said the insanity defense is "rarely asserted, actually. We hear a lot about it on TV, but in court, it's rarely asserted, and even less frequently is it believed by jurors. Jurors don't like the insanity defense. The feel like someone's trying to pull the wool over their eyes. So, I don't think it's gonna fly."


Listen to CBS radio station WBZ's coverage of the Rockefeller trial
Chu said he diagnosed Gerhartsreiter with a "mixed personality disorder" with narcissistic and anti-social traits.

But he rejected the defense claim that the elaborate stories he told about his past and his use of multiple aliases - including the famous Rockefeller name - were prompted by mental illness. Chu said the fanciful stories he told were "creations" and "deliberate fabrications," not delusions.

Witnesses have testified that Gerhartsreiter claimed an aristocratic background and told a wide variety of stories about what he did for work, describing himself at varying times as a cardiovascular surgeon, a physicist, a ship's captain and a member of the Trilateral Commission, a private organization established in the 1970s to foster cooperation between the United States, Europe and Japan.

The two defense experts both said they diagnosed Gerhartsreiter with delusional disorder, grandiose type and narcissistic personality disorder.

Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist from Newburyport who has written fictional books and appeared on numerous television shows, testified Wednesday that Gerhartsreiter told him his father was emotionally abusive during his childhood, calling the boy "human refuse."

On Thursday, Ablow said Gerhartsreiter told him his father gave away his musical instruments and "openly questioned" whether the boy "might be a homosexual." His father also asked his mother, in front of the boy, whether he was really his son, Ablow said.

View CBS News In